Covid-19: Quarantined SPM, STPM students will be allowed to defer exams, says Education Ministry

PETALING JAYA: Students who are quarantined for Covid-19 or fall sick during the upcoming public examinations will sit for the papers they missed at a later date.

Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim said the students, including those categorised as close contacts to a positive case, cannot sit for the paper until they have been confirmed to be healthy.

“Candidates who are confirmed (Covid-19) positive or quarantined will not be allowed to sit for the exams as long they are under quarantine or sick, ” she said in a virtual press conference on school operations in 2021 on Friday (Jan 22).

However, she added that they could resume sitting for their exams after they have completed their quarantine and were free of the virus.

The candidates will be sitting for the 2020 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, Sijil Vokasional Malaysia, Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia and Diploma Vokasional Malaysia as well as other international level examinations certified by the ministry this year.

"They need to present a letter from the Health Ministry or their doctor proving that they are under quarantine or have tested positive before being allowed to defer the papers.

"These candidates will sit for a different set of papers that have the same standard as the original set taken by other candidates.

"Those who are healthy will definitely be sitting for their papers as scheduled," she said.

Habibah added that the quarantine period was about 14 days while the examinations would take place over a month.

“Once they are better, they can sit for the other papers that are still going on.

“The Ministry will arrange a separate session for them to take the papers (they missed) at a later date, ” she said, adding that the dates would be announced later.

Habibah said the arrangement would not affect the timeline for the results to be released as the ministry would shorten the time it takes to mark the papers.

"The ministry has also prepared a standard operating procedure on what needs to be done for those who are healthy, have symptoms or are under quarantine.

"Those who do not attend school physically in the lead up to the exams will still be allowed to sit for it, provided they are well," she said.

Habibah added that parents and the candidates should ensure that they were Covid-19-free before entering the exam hall to curb the spread of the virus.

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